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Bootstrap 4 Will Drop IE8 Support

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Bootstrap 3.3.0 was announced last week, along with a set of upcoming changes in Boostrap 4 alpha. One of the biggest changes coming soon is removal of support for IE8.

The 3.3.0 release comes with several changes -

  • Several new Less variables such as @gray-base, @border-radius (for large and small inputs), @progress-border-radius (for progress bar), @link-hover-decoration and @cursor-disabled
  • Improved carousel performance in modern browsers
  • Improved accessibility for navs, panels, tooltips, buttons and more. Improvements are especially focussed on adhering to aria standards and having screen-reader support.
  • Improved Popovers with several fixes
  • Drag-and-drop support for importing config.json file

There are also several JavaScript and Documentation bug fixes. Some recent features causing regressions have been removed as well -

  • translate3d, originally added to improve repaint performance, has been removed since it added several cross-browser issues.
  • Progress bar min-width styles for low percentages have been removed to avoid jumping progress

One of the biggest problems with IE8 is that it doesn't support CSS Media Queries, which are important to implement responsive design within applications. While Bootstrap 3 also did not support IE8 directly, it did provide the option of using Respond.js and html5shiv to add this support. In fact there is an entire section in the Bootstrap getting-started document dedicated to getting started with IE8 and IE9. However, it looks like this support will also be dropped in the upcoming Bootstrap 4.

The problem though is that Windows 7 shipped with IE8 and the update wasn't forced. Also, Robert Hames points out that the military community still uses IE8 and will probably continue to do so for some time. So it looks like a lot of developers still need to support IE8 - and they will have to continue using the v3.x releases.

Some of the other changes coming soon in Bootstrap 4 alpha -

  • Updated Grid system, with better support for hand-held devices. A support for 480px breakpoint has been often requested, and it looks likely that this will make it in v4.
  • Panels, thumbnails and wells will be replaced by a new component
  • New, simpler navbar
  • Pixel values will be switched to rems and ems for better type and component sizing
  • Several form updates, including custom form controls
  • New component animations and transitions for several components
  • A new approach to configuring global theming options

Last month, the Bootstrap team also streamlined the contribution process with a new bot named Rorschah. The bot runs quick checks on every pull request and gives feedback on several common mistakes. You can check out the implementation on github.

Bootstrap is an open source, HTML, CSS and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first web apps, originally introduced by Twitter. It is released under MIT license.

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